Turning a hobby into a career

Turning a hobby into a career

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This is a discussion on Turning a hobby into a career within the Education & Career Talk forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; I heard some people saying that this isn't a wise idea because we might end up losing interest in our ...

  1. #1

    Turning a hobby into a career

    I heard some people saying that this isn't a wise idea because we might end up losing interest in our hobbies if we turn our hobbies into a career.

    Do you agree with what they said? What is your opinion on this?
    niss and Mutant Hive Queen thanked this post.

  2. #2

    I have known of cases where this did happen, and did not happen.

    The father of someone I'm close to turned his instrument/music making hobby into a career that he loved and he ended up becoming pretty successful with it. He seems content. (hes an sli in socionics and a 5 in enneagram)

    A friend of mine however, turned her passion for photography into a career and ended up hating it so much she dropped it as a hobby and as a career. lol (shes an ili in socionics and a 5 in enneagram)

  3. #3

    Yea I agree. It depends on the individual, but it also depends on the types of career. Some have less freedom than the others, you can no longer do whatever whenever you like with the hobbies, the work "shapes" the hobbies.
    niss and Coburn thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    It depends...

    It is relatively easy to turn a hobby into a career - people do it all of the time. But there are considerations that many don't take into account when doing so that can make the decision one that they regret. A few that come to mind are:

    Is it a seasonal activity? This is important because you have to have a way to pay the bills when the hobby isn't in season. (e.g. Being a ski instructor for someone that loves to ski) You need a way to earn some dough during the off season.

    Will working in the field prohibit you from enjoying your hobby? In some seasonal hobbies, you will find yourself stuck running the shop because it is your busy season and you need to make money - while everyone else is out there using what you sold them to enjoy the hobby that attracted you to the field in the first place. For example, I knew a guy that liked bowhunting - it was his passion. So he opened an outdoors sporting goods store with his brothers. His complaint to me was that he had to miss almost the entire hunting season because he was busy working in the store, since that was their busy season.

    Does the hobby provide room for professional growth? It is a great feeling to work in your hobby - an area that you enjoy - until you find out later that you've pretty much plateaued financially and professionally. We can get so busy having fun that it isn't until years later that we realize we're stuck in a position and have no where to go.

    Will working in the field of your hobby force you to do what you don't like doing? I know many, many people that enjoyed a particular activity, and went into business for themselves. Unfortunately, while the idea of being a business owner had a certain glamour attached to it, they found out that running the business took them away from what they originally wanted to do - their hobby. So they are stuck running a business while others work for them, doing what they really enjoy.

    Will the hobby provide a way to be personally fulfilled, later in life? As we become older, we develop a desire to give back, to make a difference in the lives of others. If the hobby just feels like it is a bit shallow when we reach this stage, we'll feel unfulfilled. An example of this is that of a video game tester. Someone to put the game through its paces. We can all look at this and see it as rather unfulfilling after you've been doing it for 15 or 20 years, but to most 12 year old boys, it is the dream job. We need to be aware that other hobbies turned into jobs may have this same problem, but not be quite as obvious as this example.

    I turned a hobby (building hotrods) into a career, but it morphed into a different thing, altogether. Now, I'm no longer interested in fast cars, as much as I'm interested in repairing a stock vehicle to operate as best it can, considering the design. As an introvert, I find the daily interaction with people to be a bit draining, so I've moved toward a B2B model, that suits me a lot better.

    So it depends on the individual, but yes, it can be enjoyable. If you lose interest, there is nothing wrong with changing things up to keep the interest level high.

    Red_Setting_Sun, owlet, Coburn and 1 others thanked this post.

  6. #5

    I think it depends on the hobby, really. Some hobbies are more likely to allow you to build a career off them, whereas with others you'll struggle to earn enough to get by. For example, if you're interested in coding as a hobby, you'll probably be able to turn that into a career with relatively little difficulty.

    If it'd a good idea or not is entirely individual, as stated above. Trying to act as if your hobby is your career is a good starting point. For example, if you enjoy art, force yourself to work to a very specific deadline, making something like a company logo or a website for a business. If you soon grow tired of it, you'll know the answer.
    Aquamarine thanked this post.

  7. #6

    As others already said: Depends on both the bobby and your personality (I think the latter is even more important).

    The biggest stumbling block is not being realistic from the outset, and believing that turning a hobby into a career means that you are going to do what you love 24/7. You won't.
    You need to do admin, advertising and promotion/self-marketing. You need to develop business skills (a big problem that's underestimated by a lot of people). You might need to take on jobs you normally wouldn't if it were still a hobby, so you can pay the bills. You can't sit on your bum and hope that people will magically notice the awesome creative work you do: You need to put yourself out there constantly, and be resilient.

    So you need to be very realistic that there will be a trade-off of sorts. If you keep this in mind, it can work (it certainly did for me), but it's not "Oh, I so love what I do" all day, every day. If it is "Oh, I so love what I do" most days, you're already significantly more lucky than many people though ;)
    Aquamarine thanked this post.

  8. #7

    I agree. Such careers are unguaranteed. Also, I'd love to come back home at the end of the day to escape into my hobbies.

  9. #8

    I am currently doing this. I failed with my Web Designing hobby and had a feeling I wouldn't like it as a full time job. Writing used to be for therapeutic reasons, but shit, since many people have told me I've got some good material enough to make a career out of it, I'm polishing my stuff. Web Designing was a constant headache trying to find contracts. The only thing with writing is I can't sit down and concentrate on one project. I'm always distracted. Aside from that, I'm having fun writing as a career as well as hobby. May as well see if I can make something of it since I spend 80% of my days writing anyway.

  10. #9

    Turning a hobby into a career is a great way to have a job you are passionate about. It is, however, not very easy, especially if your hobby is painting or making music! :)

  11. #10

    I would not go for making my hobby into my profession if I am given the chance to go back twenty years back with the same knowledge I have now. The main point you should focus if there is a supporting industry in your country/state/city to support what you want to do. The basic idea comes from Porter's diamond. If there is no supply chain, no well defined market, and you have a hobby, then you will need to create all those macro-environmental components. This is not an easy task. For example, in a small country like Bhutan someone takes animating with Adobe Creative Could as a hobby and starts thinking of making a full scale visual effects based movie. This will never work. There is no industrial support to make a visual effects based movie in Bhutan. But this is possible in the USA. Thus think about the extent to which there is an industry in your country/state/city on the hobby you want to take up as a profession before making a decision. If it is something new then you have to establish the whole industry around you.

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